Have you ever wondered how your spending and saving habits stack up against others? Sure, we all have a general idea based on what our friends and family might be doing, but what about out there in the real world as a whole? Are you spending more or less than others in your city? Is your location that much more expensive to live in compared to other areas of the country? And does having a child really change how much you end up spending or cut back on how much you can save?
These are the questions that Bundle can answer. This is the site I’ve been working with for the past few months behind closed doors. I’m one of the community editors. I think this new site has a lot of potential and it’s simply just a lot of fun to play with. For the first time, a site has compiled spending data for everyone across all areas of the country. Now, you can pull up your own city’s spending data and compare yourself to the average, or you can compare two locations or two different demographics. It tracks data for most locations right down to the stores people spend their money.
I know it’s a little hard to visualize by me just explaining it, so here’s a video that does a much better job.
More About Bundle
Bundle is still in the very early stages so there are still a lot of interesting features that will be added in the coming months. But what I like about it so far is just the ability to compare myself with others in my area and see how I fit in. I’ve learned a few interesting facts already. For instance, I spend about 75% less on eating out than everyone else in my area, and the entire country for that matter. I’ve also learned that married couples in their 30s with children have an average of just $250 put away for their child’s college education! It’s amazing what you can learn about your neighbors by sifting through the data.
But for a little more background, here’s a snippet from bundle’s about page:
Fortunately, nobody’s making decisions in a vacuum. We’ve all wondered what our co-workers make, and how in the world our constantly broke friend can afford those three-week vacations. That’s okay. Wanting to know how people like you spend and save isn’t simply voyeurism – it’s the first step to getting ahead, and the answers can be quite an education. It’s why we created Everybody’s Money, the most comprehensive collection of free spending and savings data on the web. (Geeks, dig in! For more info, check out our FAQ.)
So, if you want to find out if you’re the only one in your neighborhood with a grocery bill in the stratosphere, it’s in there. And if you want to find a better way, we’ve got ideas from experts, as well as people who are just like us (which is to say, ahem, not experts). We’ve also enlisted some top-notch advisors, including leading behavioral economist Dan Ariely (who can explain why our financial decisions can be so irrational) and Sheryl Garrett, founder of the Garrett Planning Network and a leader in helping make objective financial advice accessible to all people.
Anyway, I hope to see you there. I’ll be on the site moderating and creating content throughout the week and you may see my face pop up on occasion. But feel free to head on over and take a look, dig into some data, and share it with your friends. I’m sure it will get even better as the site begins to grow, so here’s your chance to get in on the ground floor.
So, go check it out!
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About the Author: Jeremy Vohwinkle is a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor® and spent a few years working as a financial planner. Today, he helps people make the most of their money by writing about personal finance here and elsewhere on the web. Jeremy is also Coach at Adaptu and a regular contributor for other publications such as Intuit, and American Express. Be sure to follow Jeremy on Twitter or Google+.